Corrupt private firm chiefs to be locked out of politics

Directors of private companies who will be found engaging in corrupt practices will be locked out from seeking elective or public positions for up to 10 years should Parliament pass the Bribery Bill, 2016.

Held culpable of any corrupt dealings, their firms will be barred from doing any business with the government for three years.

The bill seeks to stem corruption from private sector players who have been largely blamed for fueling graft in government procurement departments.

The Bribery Bill, which is an initiative of the private sector, was presented to the President by Kenya Private Sector Alliance (Kepsa) chairman Dennis Awori last year on behalf of the business community.

“We agreed that 70 per cent of corruption is in procurement hence the need for the government and the private sector to work together to tame this vice,” said President Uhuru Kenyatta in a past meeting with Kepsa.

“We are ready and willing to work with government in addressing these issues especially in these turbulent times,” said Awori.

Efforts to stem corruption in the private sector have been necessitated by reports that 70 per cent of corruption in the country emanates from procurement departments which have business dealings with the private sector.

The Bill has been fashioned to have private sector companies adopt measures against bribery that could see those dishing out bribes barred from seeking any public or elective office for ten years.

It also seeks to force those found culpable to pay up the full amount – five times over – as well as being barred from transacting any business with government for ten years, and face a decade long jail term.

The Bill, approved by cabinet and now before the National Assembly for second reading, came in the wake of efforts by Kepsa to have private sector employees sign an anti-bribery code of conduct with their employers.

According to National Assembly majority leader Aden Duale, the Bill creates a legal obligation for Kenyans to report cases of corruption.

It proposes that, anyone who knowingly or negligently discloses information or informants and witnesses should also be held liable and risk a fine of Sh1 million or a years’ imprisonment.

It also seeks to strengthen the judiciary’s enforcement of the measures with a clause giving power to courts to impose tough sentences.

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